Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sacred Cows

My favorite music magazine is a British mag called Uncut. They used to have a feature called Sacred Cows in which the columnist would rip into films that he felt were undeservedly considered classics. I am not about to write essays ripping in to these guys, but here is my list, with short explanations, of my personal picks for Sacred Cows from the rock world.

5. My Bloody Valentine – MBV’s Loveless album seems to have been universally hailed as a hugely influential masterpiece. I have it. It’s one of the albums I listen to about once a year just to see if I can figure out what the big deal was. It’s ok, kind of boring. Give me the Jesus & Mary Chain.

4. Captain Beefheart – Hugely influential, Beefheart is highly respected by many of my favorite musicians. His album Trout Mask Replica is supposedly a classic. I try to listen to it every couple of years. I think it’s the only album I own that makes me ANGRY while I’m listening to it, angry at the musicians, angry at Beefheart, angry at all the people who say he’s so great. I can count how many times I’ve been able to make it through the whole album on one hand.

3. Flaming Lips – I think the last three Flaming Lips albums have been hailed as masterpieces. I own two of them. Now I don’t hate these guys, I actually think the music is pretty good… the vocals however make it impossible for me to listen to them (or consider buying the new album).

2. Todd Rundgren – I don’t get it.

1. Beach Boys – The only Beach Boys album I own is Pet Sounds which, again, I listen to annually. Now I grew up in California so I heard the Beach Boys all the time, my whole life. Even as a kid I found them to be hokey and unsubstantial. By the time I was a teenager I thought of them as a kind of joke. That opinion hasn’t softened much. The lyrical content of the majority of their songs just doesn’t cut it for me. My wife thinks I don’t like them because I’m from Northern California as opposed to Southern California. I realized a couple of years ago that my biggest problem with them is I hate falsetto (see Flaming Lips). I’ve heard other artists cover songs off Pet Sounds; I much preferred those to the originals. After 35 years of hearing, and not liking, the Beach Boys I think it’s safe to say I never will.


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